1. The Space Inbetween
Release date: September 13, 2019.
Composed, performed, and mastered by Polly Fae. Produced by Dr. Bee & Polly Fae. CD art by Polly Fae.
Dreamwalkers physical CD (signed): $7.99
Polly Fae (known previously as Paulina Cassidy) returns with quiet bewitchment on her new album of 15 swirling atmospheric pieces that straddle the boundaries of ambient and dream pop. Awakened with trance-inducing melodies from the threshold of earthly and galactic realms, DREAMWALKERS escorts the listener into a reverie of ghostly tones and enticing chants. It’s ethereal, gossamer and shimmering, evoking in-between times and places.
With sparse electronic instrumentation and Polly’s signature half-whispered soft, sultry vocals drifting from the recess of the subconscious, the tracks sculpt a private universe of floating, gossamer aesthetic. Polly’s voice is a graceful instrument beneath a wisp of echo and dreams, the fluidly-layered pieces draw the listener into her world of audible art.
Steve Davis, Associate Producer of HEARTS OF SPACE Radio Program wrote about her recent album: Paulina Cassidy creates “….a quiet masterpiece, both earthly and ethereal. Through her music, lyrics and images she guides us through an alluring world that seems strange yet familiar, distant but as close as your heart. The veil of the dreamworld is near; the Eternal Feminine is calling."
These compositions are love letters for the passionate heart with a desire to drift into worlds unknown. Born of vortex storms and a kiss of stardust, DREAMWALKERS unearths hidden aspects of the soul from the depth of dreaming. Float into eternity with a spaceman, and run astray into the dark of night with the fawn moon. Enchanting and tranquil, yet shadowy and peculiar, the lullaby-esque songs bring to light an au courant rendering of the nature of reality and its arcane kinship to the celestial-bound dreamer. Rest your head, and open the door to a new reality.
We first met Polly with her hypnotic version of ‘Frosty the Snowman’ on Projekt’s 2012 ORNAMENTAL holiday sampler. In 2014, we were given SUGAR WINGSHIVER, a full album of whimsical and lushly-textured songs. 2018 brought DRAWING UP A STORM, an album of aqueous melodies, and the beginning of 2019 brought PHANTOM GARDENS, a landscape of lush songs from otherworldly plant life. She returns with DREAMWALKERS, a new album of sensuous compositions to transport the listener to another dimensional space.
It’s always an interesting situation when one ‘discovers’ an artist who already has eight previous releases. Where have I been all that time? Polly Fae, for those eight previous releases known as Paulina Cassidy, put out the first four on her private label Ulaluma Records, and the next four were on the Projekt label; she is probably just as well known for her artwork and tarot cards as she is for her music. For this latest release, Dreamwalkers (her ninth overall), she decided to release it as Polly Fae, though her music appears to be continuing on a similar trajectory with all that came before it. The title – Dreamwalkers – is entirely appropriate for her form of ambient, dreamy, avant-garde shoegaze non-pop, for lack of a better descriptor; a subtle and introspective maze of mystical shimmering sounds come together on each of of the fifteen tracks, including Polly’s breathy whispered vocals that can hardly be deciphered most of the time, an effect I believe is entirely intentional to the overall end result. The listener will find themselves paralyzed by the sheer beauty of the enveloping sound fragments that surround the listener on this journey. Credits do not disclose who plays the instrumental parts, though it may well be all of Polly’s doing. What I hear are pianos (both standard and prepared), synthesizers, loops, all treated with epic amounts of studio reverb, echo and sustain, with perhaps small amounts of bass, acoustic guitar, all intertwined with multiple layers of vocals, all treated to similar effects. I’m occasionally reminded of the mid-90s work of artists like Lycia, though Dreamwalkers is even more avant and ambient overall, with a drifting and restless spirit that moves through ever-shifting, somewhat dark sonic vignettes. There are moments of bright and floral melodic color, though deeply introspective. What I hear is truly fascinating and beautiful, something I want to play over and over for hours on end, a soundworld from which I never want to escape.
- Exposé.org: Exploring the Boundaries of Rock (written by Peter Thelen)
Polly Fae’s latest album is full of dark, haunting dreampop that’s the perfect soundtrack for autumn evenings.
Those familiar with Paulina Cassidy’s ephemeral dreampop as heard on albums like 2014’s Sugar Wingshiver might find that her latest album requires some adjustment. Recorded under the “Polly Fae” moniker, Dreamwalkers still lies squarely in the ambient/dreampop spectrum, but Fae’s sonic palette is darker, sparser, and more harrowing.
Fae’s music has always been otherworldly. However, there’s something particularly spectral about Dreamwalkers, as if her instruments themselves are the ghosts, and Fae is simply summoning them together to create her haunting music. As such, it might take a little longer for the album’s spell to take effect, but take effect it almost certainly will.
When Fae sings “Open the door, let us in/We wait for you to let us in” (“Let Us In”) in a near-whisper against shivering electronics, it feels less like an invitation than an evocation. Later, she sings “We are watchful/We are in the trees” against piano filigrees on “The Dreamcatcher and the Owl” in a manner that’s as disquieting as it is comforting.
“Spaceman” features some of the Dreamwalkers’ most rapturous lyrics, but it’s so minimal that you have to strain to hear Fae’s voice. On this song, as well as on album highlight “Carry the Spell,” her hushed music brings to mind — or perhaps, given the album’s nature, “conjures” is a more accurate term — visions of Liz Harris (Grouper) fronting an electro-pop outfit like Mus or Lost Balance.
- Opus (opuszine.net • written by Jason Morehead)
We Are the Stars
Born of vortex storms
I am your spaceman
Let Us In
Open the door
The Dreamcatcher and the Owl
Sleep little angel
Hide the hands of time
Carry the Spell
Carry the spell as we dream
The Lost and Haunted
Awaken on moonlit flower beds
lyrics 2019 © Polly Fae
(Spaceman lyrics by Dr. Bee)